Saturday, May 03, 2008

saturday reads

Collusion between European Union governments and a secret U.S. torture and kidnapping programme has damaged the EU's efforts to promote human rights throughout the world, an internal paper drawn up by Brussels officials has admitted.

Elite policy and the "Axis of Evil"

Bob Herbert: Overkill and Short Shrift

Less than three weeks after a United States Supreme Court ruling ended a seven-month moratorium on lethal injections, at least 14 execution dates have been set in six states between May 6 and October.

Ear, Nose, and Throat

Friday, May 02, 2008

friday reads

Pepe Escobar: How under-the-gun Iran plays it cool

Destitution and food insecurity among Gaza's 1.5 million residents has reached an unprecedentedly critical level, according to unpublished UN findings that they now need "urgent assistance" to avert a "serious food crisis" in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Zimbabwe's main opposition party leader beat President Robert Mugabe in the general election two months ago but did not win an outright victory, the country's electoral body said today.

Spencer Ackerman: The Insurgent as Counterinsurgent

Wikinews has learned that a United States Department of Justice (DOJ) IP Address has been blocked on Wikipedia after making edits to an article which were considered "vandalism".

Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Thursday urged troops to get psychiatric counseling for wartime mental health problems, saying it’s “not going to count against them” if they apply for national security clearances for sensitive jobs.

Bush administration officials want to have a plan in place to automate most aspects of the security clearance process by the time a new administration arrives.

Mark Morford - Behold, the ideal Republican wife: Prim, sexless, nearly useless, lets the men do the real thinkin'. Hot!

The first Friday of May is always...No Pants Day. May is also National Masturbation Month, everyone is welcome to participate.

The Preznit celebrates Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

friday random ten

Photo by Ryan McManus

EP Edition

Why Did You Sleep With Me For So Long
The Sewing Room - Drugfree EP (1996)

My Bloody Valentine - Feed Me With Your Kiss
Emptiness Inside
My Bloody Valentine - Feed Me With Your Kiss EP (1988)

Bloc Party - Little Thoughts
Bloc Party - Little Thoughts EP (2004)

Wolf Parade - Wolf Parade
Modern World
Wolf Parade - s/t (2003)

Neutral Milk Hotel - Everything Is
Everything Is
Neutral Milk Hotel - Everything Is EP (2001)

Andrew Bird - Soldier On
How You Gonna Keep 'em Down on the Farm
Andrew Bird - Soldier On EP (2007)

The Radio Dept. - This Past Week
The Radio Dept. - This Past Week EP (2005)

Tori Amos - Crucify
Tori Amos - Crucify EP (1992)

Kate Bush - Aspects of the Sensual World
Be Kind To My Mistakes
Kate Bush - Aspects of the Sensual World EP (1990)

Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions - Suzanne
I Thought You'd Fall For Me
Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions - Suzanne EP (2002)

Bonus Tracks:

Cold Snow
The June Umbrella - s/t EP (2007)

Sleepykid Waltz
The Big Sleep - You Today, Me Tomorrow EP (2002)

Thursday, May 01, 2008

thursday reads

Happy Mission Accomplished Day!

Jane Hamsher: Is a Rockefekller/Hoyer FISA Immunity Deal Imminent

'Duce! Duce!': Italy's new parliament met for the first time yesterday with applause for Rome's mayor-elect, Gianni Alemanno, a day after followers celebrated his triumph with straight-arm salutes and fascist-era chants.

Glenn Greenwald: 2, Brian Williams: 0

Flouting a federal court order, the CIA refused Wednesday to make public long-secret records related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963.


Wednesday, April 30, 2008

wednesday reads

A Dallas County man was set free Tuesday after spending more than 27 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Tuesday that sending a second U.S. aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf could serve as a "reminder" to Iran, but he said it's not an escalation of force.

Soldiers who need special waivers to get into the Army because of bad behavior go AWOL more often and face more courts-martial. But they also get promoted faster and re-enlist at a higher rate, according to an internal military study obtained by The Associated Press.

Cheney's Total Impunity

E&P takes a look at a revealing obituary

"Donald P. Christy, Lt. Col, USAF, passed away April 21, 2008 in Colorado Springs after an extended bout of anxiety and depression."

Susie Bright: The feds want to make visible female excitement an obscenity.

Restaurants return to trans fats as food costs soar.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

tuesday reads

The Pentagon military analyst program unveiled in last week's exposé by David Barstow in the New York Times was not just unethical but illegal. It violates, for starters, specific restrictions that Congress has been placing in its annual appropriation bills every year since 1951. According to those restrictions, "No part of any appropriation contained in this or any other Act shall be used for publicity or propaganda purposes within the United States not heretofore authorized by the Congress."

Party of the Damned

As the Bush presidency staggers to an end, it's hard to say who has less to brag about: the president or the journalists who cover him. So it's fitting that the last White House Correspondents' Association dinner of the Bush era -- the ultimate celebration of chumminess between the most powerful people in the world and those who are supposed to hold them accountable -- was a dispiriting, mostly humorless affair.


In the audience at the dinner and at its endless pre- and post-parties, a fin-de-siecle degeneracy was on full display. Throngs surrounded aging professional floozy Pamela Anderson, a guest of Bloomberg, who happily posed for countless photos in a dress that exposed the preponderance of her two most outstanding achievements. Key members of the White House's torture-management team-- Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former secretary of state Colin Powell -- along with leading torture apologists -- Attorney General Michael Mukasey, CIA Director Michael Hayden, former White House spokesman Tony Snow and current spokeswoman Dana Perino -- were fawned over as honored guests.

In one of his few winning lines, Bush made this astute observation: "Pamela Anderson and Mitt Romney in the same room? Isn't that one of the signs of the apocalypse?" At the end of his speech, the man who waged war against the press received a standing ovation from the conquered.

The Supreme Court, voting 6-3, on Monday rejected a constitutional challenge to Indiana’s law requiring voters to show a government-issued photo ID before they may cast a ballot.

A video shot by the father of an 82nd Airborne Division soldier that shows poor conditions such as mold in a barracks at Fort Bragg caught the attention Friday of a U.S. senator and high-ranking Army officials.

Glenn Greenwald: Brian Williams nominates Peggy Noonan for a Pulitzer Prize

Grits for Breakfast on Eldorado:
This case just gets stranger and stranger. There's still no complaining victim. The allegations spawning the raid were a hoax. The agency can't figure out how many kids its seized from day to day. And none of the crime victims agree with the state's allegations, which differ wildly in the media from what DFPS said in court. Just bizarre.

Errol Morris Gets to the Truth Behind the Abu Ghraib Photographs

Consumer confidence index at 5-year low. Higher oil and gas prices helped Royal Dutch Shell and BP report record first-quarter profits. MasterCard profit more than double.

Today is Free Cone Day!!!. My local Ben & Jerry's partnership Scoop Shop is run by LifeWorks. (h/t skippy)

You Are Dublin Mudslide Ice Cream

You won't remember any of this in the morning

Monday, April 28, 2008

"I'm Good, I'm Gone" - Black Cab Version

Lykke Li
"I'm Good, I'm Gone"
The Black Cab Sessions

(x-posted here)

monday reads

Pakistani and Indian troops working as UN peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo trade arms for gold and ivory.

With calls to shut down the city, hundreds of demonstrators launched the start of what could be a long series of protests following the acquittal of three New York City Detectives in the shooting death of Sean Bell.

Elizabeth Edwards: Bowling 1, Health Care 0

Families of Iraqis who died in a shooting involving Blackwater Worldwide contractors accused the company Friday of shredding documents and destroying evidence.

Tom Engelhardt: Petraeus, Falling Upwards

A Humbolt squid invasion of the Pacific Northwest and the rise of the age of jellyfish.

Welcome to Paultardville.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Eeyore's 45th

bumblebee's sting
Originally uploaded by lumai

The Friends of the Forest put on their party hats to celebrate Eeyore's 45th Birthday this past Saturday.

The guest list included Silverman, Wizard, Merman, Jesus Christ Super Delegate, Leafman, members of the Justice League and of course Tigger.

Also spotted at the party were many faries, a unicorn, two horny girls and other interesting creatures.

A storm trooper crashed the party and I found Waldo at the beer tent.

This being Austin, the party eventually was overrun with a bunch of dirty fucking hippies.